You may be wondering why you have less blog traffic. You might think: “Hey, Mecyll, I’m putting a ton of work into every single post!” Well, you may be, but let me ask you this: Why aren’t enough people clicking on your posts?
We launched our blog and our online shop, Bitchy Chicken last February. After two months of consistent powerful, badass, killer blogging, we managed to reach 4,157 page views, with only 40% bounce rate, attracting readers across the globe.
Phenomenal, right? Our original plan was to reach an average of 1,000 views within 2 to 3 months. What happened was beyond our expectations. We reached 4,157 views in two months. Imagine: our monthly traffic goal quadrupled!
You probably want to experience the same with your blog, right? My goal is to make you realize the mistakes you’re making that are hurting your blog, and provide you with actionable tips to solve those problems. Below are eight things that could be hurting your website success:
1. No SMM activity.
SMM stands for social media marketing. This involves posting and engaging on the social media platforms (Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) that are right for your business.
To save time, make sure you have a social media scheduler. I personally use CoSchedule, which has excellent features! But if you’re a new blogger without a lot of money to invest, you can take advantage of other free platforms like MeetEdgar, Buffer, Hootsuite, Tailwind and BoardBooster (for Pinterest).
2. No comments on other websites.
I know that you’re busy and you don’t have time to comment on other blogs. You may think this strategy is already dead. But hell, no! It’s one of our top referrals for our blog traffic.
We use the Disqus commenting system and it’s the highest source of traffic for our site. When you comment on other blogs in your niche, make sure you have a signature made up of your name and your site link. Whenever people visit their blogs and see your link, they’ll click on it!
And when you comment, don’t just say “Hey, you have a nice blog post! This is awesome!” Avoid that. Make sure to leave valuable knowledge that directly relates to the content of their post. Have something that really enhances the conversation, whether that’s a tip or trick, or a question to create discussion.
3. Ineffective Pinterest strategies.
Pinterest is an incredibly powerful tool for content marketing. It doesn’t matter if you pin your offers, freebies, courses, latest blog posts, etc. Pinners will see them and check them out. Bang! Blog traffic. Pin compelling content that users want to find out more about. And make sure to add rich pins for products, recipes, etc. to encourage more clicks.
4. Bad, uninteresting posts.
If your blog posts aren’t well-written or engaging, you can’t expect your audience to love them! Honestly, if you were a reader, would you share your content? Start creating valuable blog posts for readers. Make them epic. Make them interesting.
5. Boring headlines.
Weak, uninteresting headlines won’t make people click on your posts! The titles of your posts should make people curious and compel them to click. Check out this article on writing interesting headlines.
6. Ineffective CTAs and no content optimization
Yeah, you want to grab your audience’s email and try to grow your email list. But how can you convince them to sign up and trust their emails to you without a great call to action?
When implementing the call to action, follow the “rule of three.” This is applicable to long posts. If your blog post contains only around 600-800 words, having two CTAs is fine. If it’s longer, implementing 3 is the best way to grab attention and encourage people to click.
To make your CTAs convincing, create killer content! Offer an eBook or coupon code in exchange for their email. If you’re a small creative business owner, you can use this to grow a solid audience that you can share your latest posts or offerings with.
7. An overcrowded site
Personally, I don’t like overcrowded sites. One of the most common things I see is people leaving a website early because they see a TON of ads. 3 ads in the sidebar and 3 ads in the content is way too much! If you must use advertising, keep it simple.
Another factor is site speed. A lot of ads can slow down your site tremendously. Your users won’t sit around waiting for your site to load; instead, they’ll go somewhere else. Ideally, your site speed should be around 5 seconds or less. Definitely not more than 10 seconds. Check out Blue Ivory Creative’s post about speeding up your WordPress site for more information.
8. Lack of search optimization.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is super important, because it allows you to tell Google what your website is about. Google’s goal is to deliver the most relevant content possible to searchers. So you want to “convince” Google that your content is relevant for certain keywords.
For example, in real estate, you might want to tell Google that your website is about “real estate in Nashville”. If they believe that you’re relevant enough for that keyword, they’ll place you higher on the list of websites that come up when someone searches “real estate in Nashville”. Ultimately, this means more site visitors and more sales.
For maximum effectiveness, you may want to hire an SEO expert, as Google’s algorithm (how they determine relevancy) changes often. However, some of the basics that you can implement yourself are:
- Choose the right keywords. You want a good balance between something that people are searching for, and something that you can realistically rank for. Long tail keywords are a bit more realistic. An example of this might be “California mountain climbing tours” rather than just “mountain climbing”.
- If you’re on WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin. This will be helpful in optimizing your pages, posts and images, as well as creating a sitemap, and more.
- Make sure your keywords are present in your headline/blog post title, first paragraph, H1/H2/H3 subheadings, meta descriptions, and image alt tags. However, ultimately, you want to provide your users with the best experience. So don’t sacrifice natural-sounding content for keyword usage. “Stuffing” your keywords (using them as much as possible) can also cause Google to penalize your site.
- Generally focus on good content. The best way to have great SEO is to create excellent content on a regular basis. For more SEO tips, check out our full post about getting noticed using search engine optimization.
9. “The Robot Syndrome”
This is what I say about bloggers and site owners who don’t respond to their audience’s comments, questions, concerns, and so on. Make sure you’re responding professionally to comments, emails, and contact form submissions. You want your readers to know that you care!
11. Bad photography.
Images embedded in your site should be attractive and related to what you’re talking about. If you’re using free photos from Gratisography, Unsplash, Flickr (Creative Commons), or Pixabay, make sure that you choose photos that are nicely taken, bright, and right for your message.
If your blog post contains 1,200 to 3,000 words, place images every 75-100 words.. This will prevent your readers from getting bored.
For online shops, you can utilize photos of your own products to entice site visitors to make a purchase. Make sure they’re related to what you’re talking about. Don’t just place them in between paragraphs for the sake of placing them.
In summary, show your audience that you’re actually there to help them and to serve them. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new blogger or a small creative business owner. Be human and your audience will love you!
Author Bio: Mecyll is a creative blogger, freelance writer, super creativepreneur, and coffee addict, dedicated to help other small business owners to stand out from the noisy crowd at Bitchy Chicken. Social media platforms: